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rental car damage and liability insurance

Comprehensive car insurance provides protection for your vehicle from damages resulting from incidents other than collisions. This type of coverage differs from basic liability insurance which only covers damages you cause to others.

Comprehensive coverage protects against:

  • Interior damage from accidents
  • Vandalism
  • Damage from weather events

It provides more complete protection than basic liability coverage. However, it comes at a higher cost. Understanding what comprehensive insurance covers for interior damages can help you decide if it is right for your needs.

image of the interior of a car

What does comprehensive insurance cover?

Comprehensive insurance provides protection for your vehicle from a wide range of incidents. Unlike liability coverage, comprehensive goes beyond just covering damages you cause others.

Some key things covered by comprehensive car insurance include:

Interior damage

  • If your upholstery, seats, dashboard or other interior components are damaged in an accident, comprehensive insurance will cover the cost of repairs. This includes damage from:
    • Collision with another vehicle
    • Collision with an object or animal
    • Accidents like rolling your vehicle
  • Your insurance adjuster will assess the interior damage and approve repairs to restore your vehicle's interior to pre-loss condition.


  • If someone vandalizes your vehicle, comprehensive insurance will cover the cost of repairs. This includes:
    • Broken windows
    • Slashed seats or upholstery
    • Graffiti or damage to dash and panels
    • Key scratches on all interior surfaces
  • You will need to file a police report on the vandalism. Provide this to your insurance when submitting the claim.

Environmental damage

  • Comprehensive policies cover damage to your vehicle's interior resulting from weather, falling objects, animals, fire, and more. This includes:
    • Hail storms
    • Floods
    • Falling tree limbs
    • Animal scratches and bites
    • Damage from lightning strikes
    • Melting from extreme heat
  • Claims will be paid out based on your coverage limits for comprehensive damage. Check your policy declaration page.

Other benefits

  • Comprehensive insurance also includes:
    • Coverage for damage from civil unrest like riots
    • Protection if your vehicle is stolen
    • Coverage for windshield glass repairs and replacement

Comprehensive insurance provides the most complete coverage for your vehicle's interior and exterior from damage. Premium costs are higher than basic liability insurance. However, comprehensive coverage can be a wise investment to avoid high out-of-pocket costs for repairs.

Making a claim for interior damages

If your vehicle suffers interior damage from an incident covered by comprehensive insurance, you can make a claim to have the repairs covered. Here is what to know about filing an insurance claim for interior auto damage:

Process for filing a claim

  • Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after the damage occurs. Many companies have a mobile app, website portal, or 24/7 claims hotline.
  • Be prepared to provide details like when and where the damage occurred. For vandalism or theft, you will need to have a police report.
  • Your insurer will send out an adjustor to inspect the vehicle and assess the interior damage. They will provide an estimate for repairs.
  • After the adjustor's assessment, the insurance company will approve or deny your claim based on your policy details and deductible.

Required documentation

  • Your insurance company will require documentation to process a claim for interior damage repairs. This includes:
    • Photographs and video of the damage
    • Police reports, if applicable
    • Estimate from auto repair shop on cost of repairs
    • Receipts for any emergency repairs already completed
  • The more documentation the better when submitting an interior damage claim after an accident or incident.

Insurance deductibles

  • You will be responsible to pay your comprehensive deductible amount before insurance covers additional repair costs. Average deductibles are:
    • $500
    • $1,000
    • $2,500
  • If the interior damage repair cost is close to your deductible amount, you may choose to just pay that cost out-of-pocket rather than filing a claim.
  • For major repair costs that exceed your deductible, filing a comprehensive claim is likely your best option.

Settling the claim

  • After your deductible is paid, your insurer will pay the auto body shop directly for the approved repairs.
  • You may receive payouts for emergency repairs you paid prior to the claim approval.
  • Make sure to review the payment details and repair invoices closely. Dispute any discrepancies with your insurer promptly.

Following the proper claims process ensures you receive the comprehensive coverage benefits you pay for. Keep your insurance agent informed throughout the process.

Types of interior damage covered

Comprehensive auto insurance policies cover a wide range of interior damage to your vehicle. Here are some of the most common types of impairment to a vehicle's interior that will be covered by a comprehensive policy:

Upholstery and seats

  • Damage to seats, carpeting, headliners, and other upholstered surfaces is covered. This includes:
    • Rips, tears, or gouges from accidents
    • Cuts from vandalism
    • Water damage from flooding
    • Smoke damage from fires
  • Your insurer will cover the cost of replacing or repairing any upholstery that is damaged.

Dashboard and electrical

  • If your dashboard components are damaged, comprehensive insurance will provide repair costs. Covered dashboard repairs include:
    • Cracks in dash surface
    • Broken vents and knobs
    • Radio/media console damage
    • Gauge and display repairs
  • Related electrical repairs like damaged wiring are also covered.


  • Any damage to vehicle windows and windshields falls under comprehensive insurance coverage. Covered repairs include:
    • Replacing windows broken in an accident
    • Repairing chips and cracks from collisions
    • Replacing windshield with cracks from road debris
    • Window repairs from vandalism or attempted break-ins

Other interior parts

  • In addition to upholstery, dash, and glass, comprehensive covers other interior components like:

    • Steering wheel
    • Gear shift
    • Locks and handles
    • Any attached screens or technology
    • Headliner and visors
    • Interior side panels and trim
  • If it was part of your factory vehicle, it is covered for accident repairs. Custom additions may not be covered.

With comprehensive insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing all factory interior components are covered from unexpected damage. Just be sure to report and document the incident properly when filing your claim.

Types of damage not covered

While comprehensive auto insurance provides broad protection for your vehicle's interior, there are some types of damage that will not be covered. Review the limits of your comprehensive policy.

Wear and tear

  • Ordinary wear and tear to your vehicle's interior from normal use will not be covered. Ineligible repairs include:
    • Stains on seats and carpets from regular use
    • Fading and cracks in upholstery from sun damage
    • Loose or rattling interior parts from age
    • Dashboard scratches and scuffs from daily driving
  • Gradual deterioration of the interior is expected over time. Keep your interior clean and well-maintained.

Damage from regular use

  • Your insurance policy will not cover damage that occurs from routine use of your vehicle. For example:

    • Spills and stains from food, drinks, makeup
    • Burns or rips from smoking
    • Pet scratches or damage
    • Damage from transporting equipment or gear
    • Broken interior parts from wear and tear
  • Take steps to protect your interior when using your vehicle to avoid uncovered repair costs.


  • Comprehensive insurance covers factory installed components. Any aftermarket modifications or upgrades you have made may not be covered, such as:

    • Custom audio systems
    • Added navigation systems
    • Upgraded technology packages
    • Custom upholstery patterns and materials
    • Decorative interior customizations
  • Inform your insurer of any significant modifications to ensure adequate coverage.

Pre-existing conditions

  • Make sure to point out any prior interior damage from before starting your policy. Pre-existing damage will not be covered if you try to add it to a new claim.

Check your comprehensive policy terms and exclusions for details on any other interior damage that may not be eligible for claims. Avoid surprises by understanding what is not covered.

Tips to prevent interior damage

The best way to avoid large repair expenses for interior damages is to take steps to prevent it in the first place. Here are some useful tips to maintain your vehicle's interior and avoid damage:

Regular cleaning and maintenance

  • Keep your interior looking its best with regular cleaning:
    • Vacuum seats, floor mats, and upholstery weekly
    • Use interior cleaners on surfaces and spot treat stains
    • Shampoo carpets and cloth seats at least yearly
    • Check for damage during cleanings and document it
  • Address minor damage right away before it worsens.

Protect interior surfaces

  • Use seat covers, floor mats, and pads to protect upholstery.
  • Repair minor rips, scrapes, or scuffs when they first occur.
  • Apply UV protectants to interior to reduce sun damage.
  • Consider waterproof seat covers if you transport gear or equipment.

Avoid interior hazards

  • Prohibit smoking, vaping, open drinks, and messy foods in your vehicle.
  • Never transport unsecured hazardous items that could spill or stain.
  • Keep pets in carriers and use pet seat covers for travel.
  • Install latches on storage bins and secure loose items that could roll or rub.

Security system

  • Install an audible security system to deter potential vandalism or break-ins.
  • Never leave valuables visible inside unattended vehicle.
  • Park in secure, well-lit areas when possible.

Drive with care

  • Follow traffic laws and drive defensively to avoid collisions.
  • Brace interior items before transporting tall or heavy loads.
  • Drive slowly on rough roads to prevent bouncing and scratches.

With some simple preventative steps, you can maintain your car's interior for years before repairs are needed. Reduce wear and the chance of damage occurring.

Cost of comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive coverage provides the most protection for your vehicle, but also comes with higher premium costs compared to basic liability insurance. What factors affect comprehensive insurance rates?


  • Your geographic area is a primary factor in insurance rates. Areas with higher instances of accidents, theft, storms, or vandalism will have higher base premiums.

Vehicle value

  • Comprehensive rates are also based on the value of your vehicle. More expensive or luxurious vehicles cost more to repair and replace.

Deductible amount

  • Your selected deductible directly impacts comprehensive premiums. Average annual savings from higher deductibles are:

    • $500 deductible - $227
    • $1,000 deductible - $423
    • $2,500 deductible - $697

Driver factors

  • Your age, driving record, credit score, and other personal factors also determine your comprehensive premium quote.


  • Taking defensive driving courses, bundling policies, adding anti-theft devices, and having a good claims history can reduce comprehensive rates.

Comparison to liability only

How much extra does comprehensive coverage cost compared to basic liability policies?

  • The national average annual premium for minimum liability coverage is approximately $560
  • The average annual premium for comprehensive coverage is around $1,220

Is it worth it?

The extra cost of comprehensive insurance may be $500 to $700 more per year than liability only. But a single major interior repair claim could cost even more.

Analyze your risks, driving habits, vehicle value, and budget to decide if paying more for comprehensive coverage is right for your situation. Get quotes from multiple insurers to find the best rate.

FAQs about claims

Understanding how to make a claim for interior damages is key to using your comprehensive coverage effectively. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about filing insurance claims:

What are the claim limits?

  • The maximum payouts on your comprehensive claims are set by your policy limits. Common limits are:
    • $25,000 total per accident
    • $50,000 total per accident
    • Matching your liability coverage limits
  • Claims will be covered up to your applicable limits, minus your deductible.

How are claims investigated?

  • Your insurer will investigate any major claims for validity and accuracy before approving payouts. This includes:

    • Interviewing you and any witnesses
    • Reviewing documentation like police reports
    • Inspecting the vehicle damage
    • Researching repair estimates
  • Cooperate fully with any claim investigations to avoid issues or denials.

What if my claim gets denied?

  • If your comprehensive claim gets denied, you can:

    • Request a detailed reason for the denial in writing
    • Provide any additional documentation needed
    • Appeal the decision to a manager
    • Consult your state insurance commissioner
    • Review your policy and understand exclusions
  • Denied claims may need to be resolved by paying for repairs yourself.

Can I choose the repair shop?

  • Most insurers will recommend a partner repair shop. But ultimately you can select any qualified shop.

  • Opting for an out-of-network shop may result in slightly higher repair costs however.

How long does the process take?

  • Expect the claims process to take a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks from start to finish.

  • More complex claims with major damages may take 4 to 6 weeks to investigate, approve, and complete repairs.

Will my rates increase after a claim?

  • Comprehensive claims are less likely to increase your premiums than collision claims. But multiple claims in a short period may still result in a rate hike at renewal.

Check with your insurance company or agent if you have additional questions on the claims process. They can explain any unique guidelines or requirements.


In summary, comprehensive auto insurance provides the best protection for your vehicle's interior from damage resulting from collisions, vandalism, weather events, and more.

Key points

  • Comprehensive insurance covers your factory installed upholstery, dashboard components, windows, and other areas from both exterior and interior damage.

  • Damage must result from an incident like an accident or storm. Regular vehicle use wear and tear is not covered.

  • File claims promptly, provide documentation like police reports, pay your deductible, and cooperate with any insurance company investigation.

  • Maintain your vehicle interior through regular professional cleaning and by addressing minor damage immediately to prevent costly repairs.

  • Comprehensive coverage costs more than basic liability, but provides protection from potentially expensive repair bills.

Is it right for you?

Consider adding comprehensive car insurance if:

  • You drive an expensive or luxury vehicle
  • You park your vehicle in high crime areas
  • Extreme weather is common in your region
  • You transport expensive equipment or gear
  • Your daily commute includes high speed roads

Compare insurance quotes to find the most affordable comprehensive policy for your budget and risk factors. Having the right coverage in place can provide peace of mind and financial protection.

Other readers were also inerested in the following articles:

Comprehensive Coverage for Windshield Damage: Is It Worth It?

Comprehensive Coverage for Custom Parts and Equipment: What's Covered and What's Not

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